Why I am saying goodbye

Just the other day I came up with a blogging schedule for me and I was ready to go on that plan and then today while listening to Immaculate Heart Radio it sunk in. I do not want to blog anymore.

It isn't because I don't love to write and share my stories. I do! That is what kept me going so long after I got that first inkling that maybe it is time to stop. I am stopping because I am tired of the games and pressure. I am tired about hearing you need more instagram followers, you should do this, you should do that, you need to engage more, get more creative, have this kind of look, etc. Sure, some of those tips may be well meaning but in all reality, it is a game. I game I despised in high school and a game I do not want to play as a 42 year old adult. Life is not a popularity contest or about what can I get if I do this. Life is about people.

If you have been following my blog for awhile I am sure you have noticed some of my shifting focuses over the past year as I started running for Toby and talking more about my faith. I have goals in my life and I don't want to be pulled off track by games that aren't really going to get me where I want to go. I want to reach my final days knowing that I did good in the world. That I made a positive difference.

For awhile I fooled myself I was doing that through blogging. Sure, I may have touched lives and made a difference but there is the growing undercurrent of that never dying game. There are those non-stop emails of promote this, do this, sell this. And yes, I have hopped onto opportunities that did ring true to my core beliefs. In fact, you will be seeing a couple of more posts from that that fulfill my final commitments because that is the type of gal I am. If I tell you I will do something, I will do it. I have a subscription box to tell you about and by golly, is is the best I have seen to date! And I have a book to tell you about that I am finishing right now and I am thinking that would be the PERFECT final post. I don't want my blog ended on the sad notes of the blogging games. I want to end on a positive note.

That being sad, in my years of blogging, and this is my 999th post, I have met wonderful people. Some in person, some still online. You know if you are one of those wonderful people that truly touched my heart and soul because we are "real" friends on facebook and not just connected through my blog. My blogging journey was part of my life that God laid out for me to follow...I have no doubt. But as my faith grows deeper and my desire to serve Him, I realize blogging is getting in the way. I do not want to feel compelled to check stats, write a post, share an image, etc. I want that time to do bigger things.

I want to pray.

I want to study the bible.

I want to help the hungry.

I want to run more with my daughter.

I want to make a difference in peolple's lives in a more one-on-one fashion.

I want to become more active in the church I belong to. The sisters that have been serving the church for 47 years are leaving. Their numbers are too low and they are stretched too thin. There will be a service gap there. I wonder if I am being called to help out more there.

I want to invest in the relationships in my life. When people come for seasonal visits, I want to spend more time with them. I want to spend more time with darling daughter and have the time to try to crochet her that hat she wants. I am doing it now and she is overflowing with gratitude for just me trying. I want to nurture my relationship with my husband. I love him dearly and he just doesn't feel it.

I need to be a better wife, a better mom, a better servant to God. It is time to stop blogging and move forward and accept the baton God is handing me. It is time to let go of my familiar patterns and do something new. It is time to say "I will".

Once again, I have two more posts to write so I will have time to answer any questions you may have but after that....love and peace to you and God bless!

Daily Gratitude: I am thankful for being able to see that it is time to change course in life.

Daily Bible Verse: His master replied, 'Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master's happiness! ~ Matthew 25:23


Motivation Monday: Run with your Kiddos!

from instagram
Did you take the time to read the title of this post? Yep, run with your kiddos! It is the best thing you can do not only for your kids but for yourself. I see too many runners get caught up in racing and chasing their next PR, sticking to their training plan no matter what, and their eyes are focused on the prize. Sure, being rewarded for good work is great but I get a sick feeling in my stomach when that prize is a material medal or trophy. When there is so much focus on that prize that the runner wanders off away from his/her family at the finish to look at finish times and hunt down the prize. There is so much more to running than that! My prize can not be seen or held. Read on to see if you can figure out what my prize is.

I LOVE running with my daughter. Okay, 99.99% of the time I LOVE running with my daughter. We have had some tough runs over the years where she was less than 100% convinced that running was the thing to do. This started way back when she was still in the jogging stroller. I still remember the day she was crying out in frustration about being hot. We had a bit to go to get back to the car and shade was nowhere in sight and the sun was coming at just the wrong angle so we couldn't block her darling face and body from the vicious sun. So I did what any loving running mom would do --- I poured some of my drinking water over her head. We still laugh about that day today...the day darling daughter was so hot and miserable that Mommy poured water on her head.

Today the challenges are different because she is fighting the battle many runners face. The battle of doubt -- I can't do it. I can't run a mile. I can't run up and down those hills. I can't go one more step! Through these runs I have learned something. My daughter needs the "tough coach" every now and then. The one who says, suck it up buttercup and go! Not the one that says, okay darling. Take a break. Let me know when you are ready to run. Of course, I let her know walk breaks are perfectly acceptable but when they are stretching out longer due to doubt....Coach Mommy steps up to the plate and she loves that she has her Mommy, a real running coach, to coach her. And yesterday she saw, hard work pays off!

A couple of months ago we started her training for upcoming races. We missed the Leprechaun Dash on March 17 for various reasons so that short sprint fell to the wayside but I had my eyes, and hers, focused on the 1 mile race she did yesterday and the Mother-Daughter 5K we are doing in May. We have even talked about cross training and how her horse back riding lessons are making her legs stronger and will help come race day. She pointed out running at recess is good training too! Yes it is darling daughter.

Due to where we live, a lot of her running with me is on tough terrain meaning pretty big hills. We have a neighborhood mile that we have done and it has some killer hills! Needless to say, it also has some mental challenges but she did it and I promised her, come race day, the mile there will be a breeze!

She was excited to get to the race start and we saw a couple of her friends there too. The race was a local run raising funds for schools so lots of kiddos! With where she was in her training I knew the mile was the race for her. Too early to do the 5K as I want her to go into the Mother-Daughter race happy and confident not burnt out. One of her friends joined us as her parents weren't running and I let them know, darling daughter loves the run/walk strategy. That was good and her friend has some cross country experience. I now knew my two buddies and once the horn blasted, off we went!

We started in the back of the pack behind the 5K runners but those girls were passing people steadily along the course. A few times I had to guide them to the course as their happy legs were going who knows where. This is another good reason to run with your kiddos! Following a course may be tougher for them than you think plus when we got to the final turn I had to take a moment and verify. Yes, I knew where to turn but there was no volunteer or sign confirming it and I am certain at least one or two milers may have continued to follow the 5K runners on their course instead of veering off.

Once we got closer to the finish line I told my buddies to put it into full gear and beat me to the finish. I stepped behind them and off those two girls went and let me tell you, they put in a good final push with me cheering behind them and tons of spectators cheering for them too. In this race, all finishers receive a medal so they proudly received their medals with big smiles.

After letting darling daughter indulge in getting some juice we returned to the finish line to cheer others on and watch dear hubby finish as he ran the 5K.

Did I miss not racing for me? Not one bit! No, I didn't get a PR. No, I didn't have an official finish time (that was reserved just for the 5K). But I got something more! I got to run with two blooming athletes and support their accomplishments. I got to hear their chatter here and there and got to sing silly songs to help them up the gentle hill, which I am sure felt big to them. Towards the end they confessed they were solely focused on telling themselves to just keep running (and they did). Yes, I jumped into a "just keep running" song Dora-style. Darling daughter asked me how do I keep running. I told her --- because I run for more than myself. I run for a reason. I run for Toby!!! And yes, I blew out a couple of "Run for Toby!" chants too. That made them smile. Those moments mean so much more to me than a PR or new race distance. Those moments touch lives and I can only hope that the impact on them is as special as the impact on me. And the finisher medal I received -- that will be going to Toby!

Daily Gratitude: I am thankful that I can run with the kiddos!

Daily Bible Verse: Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize. ~ 1 Corinthians 9:24


SOS Rehydrate: Product Review & Coupon Code

I am writing this sponsored and paid post as a SweatPink Ambassador. I received product at no charge to review. I did not promise a positive review. All opinions expressed in this post are solely my own.

Hydration, hydration, hydration. It has been an ongoing topic on my blog this past month with the Move Mountains: Bring Boaz Home Hydr-8 water bottle fundraiser and giveaway. In case you missed it, 21 bottles were sold to support this adoption fundraiser PLUS we had a generous donor donate $100 directly to the cause. As part of this fundraising campaign I talked about Dehydration & Hydration 101 and stressed how important it is to stay hydrated and pointed out some of the signs of dehydration. Trust me, I had my eyes out for these this weekend when darling daughter and I were battling the flu. Fortunately, neither of us became dehydrated.

In my hydration post I also mentioned that in my longer runs I turn to a sports drink that has electrolytes. As much as I may like a sugary treat every now and then on special occasions, I do not do well with sugary drinks....especially when I run. I was fortunate enough to get the chance to try SOS Rehydrate -- a sports drink I had never heard about but was instantly interested when I read it was created by professional track runners and a doctor. Oh yes! Runners and a doctor creating a sports drink...this I need to check out!

They sent me two flavors to try: citrus and berry and even recommended I mix one of each to get a fruit punch taste. I took them up on their suggestion during a long run when I fill up my CamelBak as I typically use two packs, or stix in this case, of hydration mix when my pack is full. I tossed in some ice and hit the road running.

This is a great pace for me!
I had some nerves and self doubt that day and wasn't sure how far I would run but decided to run by feel and let the pace take care of itself. Dear hubby dropped me off and I started running to the beach he was taking darling daughter to. In all reality, I was a goof ball and didn't sit down and refresh my mind on how far this course was but it ended up being 10.5 miles. Good thing I packed some gels but I only used one. The hydration drink was suiting my purposes and hey, my 10.5 miles were at sub-GMP (goal marathon pace).

Further into the run a couple of sips tasted salty but I was warned it may due to the higher electrolyte content in this drink. On that note, here is the scoop. SOS does have a few calories (13 calories per serving) but no artificial stuff. Score 1! It has 6 times the electrolytes as the average sports drink (this is good news for me because in the longer hot runs I tend to have salt issues), 27 times the electrolytes as the average coconut drink (just saying), and 75% less carbs (yay!). This is all good stuff to me. I also love that they add in their FAQ's that SOS is vegan friendly. :)

It is worth noting that this is a sports drink created for a purpose -- to prevent and treat dehydration. It is not an every day drink. It is meant to be used by active people or in times when becoming dehydration is a risk. It is not safe for kiddo's under 1 but I don't see why they would need this drink anyhow. But I did feel confident letting darling daughter have a couple of sips once I got to the beach and had some left in my hydration vest. And if I felt we were veering towards dehydration this weekend I may have opened up a stix and mixed us up some but we were both doing good sipping on ginger tea.

What makes things better is that the kind people at SOS left me a sweet message on a note with my samples -- SOS is available on island! I just haven't made it to the store to scope it out yet but the news gets better! You can get yours today and enter the coupon code SweatpinkSOS to get 10% off.

Are you ready to try some SOS today?

Daily Gratitude: I am thankful for the opportunities in my life.

Daily Bible Verse: Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change. ~ James 1:17


Back to reality

I woke up just before 4:00 am thankful that my back didn't hurt as bad as I feared, thankful darling daughter no longer had a fever, thankful that we both were able to eat dinner the night before, but bummed that reality was just around the corner. I had to go back to work. She had to go back to school.

Spring Break is officially over here on Maui. Well, it ended with kiddos returning to school yesterday but due to the flu hitting our household, darling daughter and I took a sick day yesterday. I did my first flu streak mile and we spent the vast majority of the day in bed. I did venture out to tend to the guinea pig and somehow tweaked my back. I was in tears with pain and honestly questioned if it meant the end of my running streak. Thank God that does not seem to be the case. His healing power is remarkable especially when combined with immediate first aid - soak in Epsom salt bath, icing on and off throughout the evening, gentle massage, and muscle cream right before dozing off.

Fingers crossed darling daughter has a good day at school with no return of flu-like symptoms. In all reality, she should be through the full course but I know her enery isn't 100% so I pray that she has the strength and endurance to make it through the school day. I also pray my back has the strength and endurance to make it through my work day. I question how sitting on my ball will impact my back --- either it will help it or it will tire the already tweaked back muscles resulting in them screaming.

Regardless, I will be thankful for all the blessings of the day. Have a beautiful day and I can't wait to get back to blogging now that Spring Break is over. I have some cool product reviews to share with you and the CEP Women's Progressive+ Run 2.0 compression socks is still going on but the Move Mountains: Bring Boaz Home Hydr-8 bottle fundraiser and giveaway has ended. Congrats to Elle for winning! You can find her at We can begin to feed and eat, run, sail.

Daily Gratitude: I am thankful for my 1,180 streak days of running and looking forward to see how many are in my future.

Daily Bible Verse: Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand. ~ Isaiah 41:10


Time is Running Out

This Lenten season has been a remarkable season of growth for me and I honestly feel myself growing closer to God but trust me, I still have a very long way to go. I lose my temper way too quickly on some days and end up yelling when I want a calm voice. This leads me feeling guilty and frustrated with myself for not setting the best example of "keeping my cool" for daughter daughter.

But in the mix of all the chaos she is picking up on good examples --- like my fundraiser for Move Mountains: Bring Boaz Home. I took Spring Break off with her and when I pulled my computer to the table she asked what I was up to. When I said I wanted to do a blog post since this was the last day of my fundraiser for Boaz she got it right away. She said, YES! You should write a post and let people know that it is the last day, what it is for, and what the water bottle is good for....just in case they don't know.

Who am I to say no to darling daughter's great advice?

What is this for?
This fundraiser is to raise funds for Toby's parents to adopt another little boy with Down syndrome.Boaz is in Bulgaria and is adorable! His forever parents got to meet him over a month ago but due to laws, paperwork, finances, etc. they had to leave him there and go back to Nebraska. This still is gut wrenching to hear! Imagine meeting your child and leaving him behind? Things are happening. Water bottles are being sold and funds are coming in through other avenues to make this adoption happen. Continued prayers on my part that this family is forever united as soon as possible! You can help today by purchasing a water bottle with the coupon code BOAZ to mark you purchase as part of this fundraiser PLUS as a special thank you, you will receive 10% off but act fast. This ends today!

What is the water bottle good for?
To keep you on track with your hydration needs. The standard bottle is $11.99 and the insulated version is $12.99. I got the standard bottle as I felt it would fit better in my car's cup holder on the way to and from work but in retrospect, the insulated version would be nice to have with me at other times....such as beach day the other day. I tucked the straw in my cup, put it into the cooler, and stayed nice and hydrated at the beach. It was perfect!

The bottle also has hour lines to keep you on track. For me it is nice to see how I am drinking throughout the day and I have found myself taking another sip or two just to get to the next line. Yes, any water bottle can serve your drinking needs but imagine a bottle that encourages you to take one more sip. That is what this bottle is doing for me! And no, you don't need to be an athlete to benefit and trust me, darling daughter loves sipping from it too. I just need to remember on those days that the lines are for two....not just me.

What's better than the good feeling that you are making a difference in some one's life? 
You can win a free bottle if you enter fast as the giveaway ends today. The giveaway item was purchased by me to give to one of you to thank you for your time and it is the standard bottle.

Daily Gratitude: I am thankful for the 18+ bottles sold to date. That is over $40 going to the adoption fund PLUS I had a generous donor choose to skip the bottle purchase and make a $100 donation to the adoption fund! To just make a secure online donation, you can go to the family's Go Fund Me page.

Daily Bible Verse: But if anyone does not provide for his relatives, and especially for members of his household, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever. ~ 1 Timothy 5:8


CEP Women's Progressive+ Run Socks 2.0 with BrightLife Go

This is a sponsored post. I was provided product free of charge from BrightLife Go to review. I did not promise a positive review and they agreed to giveway an additional pair of the CEP Women's Progressive Socks 2.0 to one giveaway winner.

Years ago I wore compression socks for every single long run without fail. Over the years, they fell to the wayside mainly because I felt perhaps they were too heavy and hot although I don't know if that is 100% true. Perhaps it was the power of suggestion as people kept asking me "aren't you hot?" Well yes I am but I still doubt if it was the socks as the temperatures were high.

BrightLife Go contacted me in early February to try a pair of compression socks. What is unique about BrightLife Go is that they carry a variety of brands so you can really do some comparison shopping. You can choose by style, weight, or even color! I immediately went to the Athletic section and selected CEP to give a try....or to be exact, the Blue/Black CEP Women's Progressive Run Socks 2.0. For the giveaway, this is the sock you will win but you get to choose the color you want. You do not have to do blue/black like I did. The sock is valued at $53.

But what did I think of this sock?

It is a snug fit and you pick your size based on your calf circumference versus foot size. The socks are clearly labeled for your right and left foot and for me, it takes a bit of pull to get the sock over my heel and I feel there is more support around my ankle than other compression socks. I also felt they came up higher to my knee but the area by the knee is thinner and doesn't feel like it cuts into my knee and doesn't bug me one bit. This is huge for me because I can be fussy about how things feel on that tender skin behind your knee.

On the reverse, the first few times I took these socks off I wanted to pull my hair out trying to get them off over my heel but then it dawned on me to stop trying to take them off without them turning inside out. Once I let go of that crazy hangout, taking them off is so much easier. Yes, it is still snug getting the socks over my heel but I honestly believe that is what contributes to the extra ankle support I feel in these socks. For anyone with ankle issues, this has to be a plus!

I love running in them and the socks have the same thickness of my standard go to running socks so no lacing up shoes tighter or not as tight. They stay in place when I run and in all reality, I forget I have them on. My legs feel happy and when I had some bruises on my left shin (a work-related injury) I pulled on these socks more often for the added support and that nasty bruise is essentially gone now. Thank goodness because it had a good knot in it! I honestly feel without the socks the bruise would have taken longer to heal.

What are my final thoughts?

I love wearing compression socks and no longer keep it just for long runs. You can find me in them at least 2 runs a week! I am also now seriously researching compression shorts to tend to my cranky left glute and perhaps that needs some extra loving hugs throughout the day.

I am also very happy that one of you can receive a pair of CEP Women's Progressive+ Run Socks 2.0 yourself to run in. Enter today and share the love by spreading the word. The giveaway ends March 26, 2015 and I will contact the winner as soon as possible...most likely the very next day!

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Daily Gratitude: I am thankful I am in the position to pay the goodness forward.
Daily Bible Verse: Do not neglect to do good and to share what you have, for such sacrifices are pleasing to God. ~ Hebrews 13:16


For the Love of Maui: Race Recap

I have been pretty serious on the blog recently talking about Staying Faithful and my mission to Move Mountains: Bring Boaz Home. Both of those are still going on in my life and I hope you can join me on March 15th for a facebook discussion on Down syndrome, adoption, and hydration. Essentially, I will be online and Toby's mom will be there too. This is the perfect time to get some questions answered about international adoptions, how they differ from adopting in the United States, and what motivated her to not only adopt one but two children with Down syndrome! The discussion starts at noon, Hawaii time. You are under no obligation to donate or to purchase a bottle from Hydr-8 but if you want an awesome water bottle, please use the coupon code BOAZ to receive 10% off and earmark your purchase as supporting Boaz's adoption fund. As of the 6th, we had 4 purchases and need 6 more until contributions will be made to the fund. The coupon code is valid until March 20, 2015.

The really cool water bottles - use coupon code BOAZ
 Now let's run!

On February 15th, 2015 I ran the For the Love of Maui 5K and so did dear hubby. Darling daughter was our cheerleader, who thank goodness the wonderful timers watched until her big brother showed up. He was late and didn't get there until after the race started. This is one thing I love about the local running community -- we know one another and pull together when needed. And the timers rock! They are the ones I turn to for the Run & Walk for the Whales and I can't tell you how much easier they make my life as a race director. By the way, they are Pacific Sport Events & Timing and also do the timing for the Honolulu Marathon...and so many other events. I love Jon and Arlene!

A few days before this race dear hubby asked me my goal. He wasn't entirely thrilled with my answer to run and have fun. He joked that we should run together since it is a Valentine's Day thing but quickly changed his mind. Maybe because I said I was just going to go with the flow. Maybe because he really didn't want to slow down to run with me. Regardless, it didn't matter. I wanted him to run his race....not mine. There are other ways we can show each other our love.

I was excited to toe the start line though since I was still bummed I missed the Maui Oceanfront Marathon due to that nasty cough. I made the right decision to listen to my doctor and still feel no regrets but I also still desire to run that course. I already told the race director, Les, that I am on for 2016! He will gladly welcome me back and trusts that I won't flop two years in a row but questioned why I just didn't run a shorter event. Ummm....the thought never crossed my mind.

Now let's get back to love!

The For the Love of Maui is an awesome race directed by beautiful Cathy who does an amazing job getting sponsors. Although, I would seriously question companies who turn her down because the race's cause is so darn good --- hospice care! I do not mind one bit supporting hospice care with my entry fee. Once we got there I was happy to see Ainsley's Angels represented and really had no clue what the course was. I ran this race a couple of years ago, maybe three years, and the course was a double loop. But I felt I was starting somewhere else and being as laid back as I was once the race started and I still was clueless I figured, just follow those in front of me and course markers! Maybe not the best racing strategy but it worked and nope, not the double loop from years ago but there were some hills!

At mile 1 my phone told me my pace was 7'57". I was stoked since it did have some uphill to it AND I wasn't "racing" per se. My goal marathon pace is 9'00" so I am always happy when paces are below that. I knew I had more to run and there were more hills to climb so I tried to keep it easy, go with the flow, and not totally wipe myself out. I was passing people every now and then and my second mile was done in 8'01". By this point I got a glimpse of dear hubby as we did a little turn back where we ran against the flow of runners and he yelled out a "good job" to me and I smiled. I was happy with my pace and progress and kept on running. For the final mile I figured I good push the envelope some. Hey, it is only 1.1 miles, right? And there was some downhill but I tried not to fly too much to avoid quad injury. Mile 3 came in at 7'26".

I flew past the finish line truly racing the girl by my side and it ended up we both got the same finish time: 23:45. I was happy, accepted a juice box as it would be the perfect treat for darling daughter (she loved it!), talked to dear hubby a bit, and took a few moments to catch my breath. Dear hubby was certain I PR'd. I had no idea. I followed dear hubby to go find the kiddo's and sat down to enjoy the after party.

Whole Foods was present and there was some Starbuck's coffee. After drinking my protein drink I grabbed a cup of coffee and savored the treat. The awards and door prizes were handed out and it is always fun to watch and then, guess what? They called my name! I placed first in my division!!!! Woo-hoo! I was very happy especially since I questioned how I would be able to perform after working Whale Day the day before (a very long laboring day) and long hours the days proceeding getting ready for the huge event. And dear hubby placed first in his division with a time of 21:44.

There were 324 and I was the 35th to finish. How exciting! I looked later on the ride home at my blog racing page and yes, I had PR'd. I just beat my time from 2006, which was 25:05 and made at the Race for the Cure on O'ahu. The very first race dear hubby watched me at many moons ago on a much flatter course.

Just around the corner I have my next race. A St. Patrick's Day 3-miler on a flatter course. Last year I ran it in 22:07. Yes, a faster overall pace than this race but hey, still not a 5K as it is 0.1 miles short. I wonder if I will be able to shave off 8 seconds in a week and break 22 minutes?

But in all reality, it doesn't matter. If I do I will celebrate. If I don't, I will celebrate. I am running for a cause much greater than the end time. Yes, I love that I placed first and that I tied with the second place lady in the 20-29 age division. I also love that I finished before the first lady in the 30-39 division. But in all reality, what I love most is that I ran my own race, I ran for Toby, I ran for God, and I tried my best to stay close to runners who motivate me. I love that after the race two ladies came up to me and said thanks for pushing me. I guess they were tailing me the same way I was tailing those ahead of me.

There isn't a magic number. Running isn't really about beating each other but about setting your new PR's and finding what you are made out of because the magic is, that lady who placed 1st in the 30-39 division could have just blasted away 9 year PR as well!

Daily Gratitude: I am thankful for the medal I earned and that I had the chance to inspiring others and make darling daughter proud.
Daily Bible Verse: Do nothing from rivalry or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others. ~ Philippians 2:3-4


Motivation Monday: Staying faithful

What do you do when your faith is challenged? Do you pray? Do you run? Do you reach out to others and perhaps find a bit of hope, an extra dose of faith, or words of encouragement to keep you moving forward.

We all have road bumps in our life and right now I am on a journey that is a roller coaster ride and not so much fun. I keep hitting "walls" but I know I am on the right path. I know I should be doing this but the paperwork required is a huge challenge that is trying to get my to throw up my hands in defeat.

To bring you all up to speed, dear hubby and I were married civilly and I want the marriage blessed by the church. In all reality, I wanted it years ago when we got married but was afraid of the paperwork and/or process. Procrastination and avoidance pays off and may have made my journey harder. So in a nutshell, I am getting witness affidavit's from Scotland, trying to track down and obtain a baptism certificate from Scotland from a church that seems to have no email, and need a marriage certificate from his first marriage. And yes, I will also need a copy of my baptism certificate but fortunately that church is in Michigan.

Why am I telling you all this? Because life is full of challenges and sometimes we try to avoid them and later regret it (as in my case). I feel I have been called by God to make things right in my heart and do what I wanted to do years ago but didn't do because I feared the paperwork. It really has left me carrying a heaviness with me throughout the years and perhaps that heaviness within me is negatively impacting my marriage and my family's happiness.

And no, I do not want to be a "Debbie downer" (an expression I just heard on the radio this morning and loved). My point is that sometimes things in life are indeed tough. Sometimes we want to give up. Sometimes we want to stop running that marathon at mile 21 but we shouldn't....unless there is a serious health issue...just had that disclaimer. We need to dig deep, have faith, and continue pushing because at the end of that portion of our journey we will see the beauty of it all. And then....the next journey begins!

Have faith! We can all overcome our obstacles in life we just need to remember, things do not always occur on our time but at the perfect time.

Daily Gratitude: I am thankful dear hubby has family willing to help with the paperwork and witness affidavit.
Daily Bible Verse: Therefore let us not pass judgment on one another any longer, but rather decide never to put a stumbling block or hindrance in the way of a brother. ~ Romans 14:13


Friday Favorite: the running streak edition

Aloha! I am honored to have been featured in this quarter's United States Running Streak Association newsletter. I am more honored to be a member. Typically, I don't share things that have been printed but since I wrote the article....here it goes. This was published as my submitted update for reaching my three year running streak anniversary on December 30, 1014.

I was inspired to start my running streak by Shelly Cable, and she is still going strong and I never want to catch up to her! I will never forget that she is the one who got me to consider running every day. She was a mom and making it happen so I figured, why couldn't I? My initial goal was to run every day in 2012. I started on December 30, 2011 and I am still loving my daily runs.

There is something about running every day that makes you stronger. In 2013 I was racing and PR'ing at every single event. I was running on a very happy runner's high. In 2014, my goals were getting higher and I was falling short. It was a year of reflection and discovery.

Ironically, my power word for 2014 was FAITH and I found myself falling back on FAITH so many times but ironically, my goal to have more FAITH in my running developed into me having more FAITH spiritually. I know running daily is a gift from God and I was inspired by another streaker, Michael Scott, to sign up for a buddy through IR4 (I Run for Michael). I signed up in April and four months later I was matched with my buddy - Toby and he has Down syndrome. Running had deeper meaning to me now. For years I have stated I run because it is what my spirit is meant to do. Today this has deeper meaning.

The clock at the end of the race doesn't matter so much anymore. Yes, I still crave to break a 4-hour marathon. Currently my PR is 4:10:18 but if that does or doesn't happen is not what matters the most. I am honored and blessed to run for Toby and Down syndrome awareness. I am blessed to run every day and to spend much of that time reflecting on my spiritual growth. I am blessed to part of an awesome community of runners who understand why I must lace up and run every single day. I am blessed my six year old daughter gets it…well, she at least understands that I can get a wee bit grumpy if I haven't had my daily run yet.

Running relaxes me and lets me unwind from the stresses of a full-time job, blog writing, social media posting (for my personal blog and full-time job), being a mom, daughter, sister, wife, coach. Running is my time to recharge my battery.

My only sadness is that so many of my miles are logged on a treadmill out of necessity of either when I am running (super dark) or that I am running and being Mommy at the same time. However, my best run stories always involve darling daughter.

Just the other day we had no power, roads were closed, so we had to head outside for me to run my mile. I was just going to loop around the house while she played inside but my daughter decided to join me - in jammies, a robe, and slippers by the way. She was in too much of a hurry and too excited to get into running gear. I started the house loops but our lot is super small. I ended adding in some up and down the road segments that kept her in sight. (Please note, we live off a busy, curvy road that is not conducive to taking a child on the road with you as many times, I have to dodge out of the way of a car.) It was the best run ever! I ran a very slow 1.11 miles but frankly, time didn't matter nor did it matter I had planned to run longer that day. I got my daily mile in and I did it with darling daughter!

Today is day 1,104 of my running streak. It is January 6, 2015 and I haven't run yet…but I will. In fact, I am in my running gear waiting for the sun to come up. Today I am treating myself to a "coffee break" run at work.

Happy Running and God Bless!

Footnote: Today is day 1,163 of my running streak and I have done a rest day mile (okay, 1.15 miles).

Daily Gratitude: I am thankful for the gift of running.
Daily Bible Verse: “Come what may,” he said, “I will run.” So he said to him, “Run.” Then Ahimaaz ran by the way of the plain, and outran the Cushite. ~ 2 Samuel 18:23


Dehydration & Hydration 101

It is a lovely, rainy morning on Maui and my fingers are crossed that the rain blows by down in the valley so that the kiddo's scheduled for a whalewatch today (darling daughter included) get to go out on the boat and see whales!

Yesterday, I ran in the rain and it was cleansing. Today, I am thinking about water in a different way. Dehydration and hydration.

We have all heard drink 8 cups of water a day, right? I am not here to argue that but to say I, like many others I am sure, fail at getting enough water in me on a daily basis. As a runner this is troublesome in so many ways. But before I talk about how much to drink let's focus on dehydration.

I honestly believe many of us are walking around in state of mild dehydration....or perhaps I don't want to believe I am the only foolish one. Many mornings I start my day by bringing down a cup of coffee to work. I run, do my thing, and later in the morning I feel like the coffee has sucked the life out of me and my head aches. The first pick me up wonderful feeling of coffee is gone and I swear I will never make that mistake again. And I keep my promise until.....the next morning. And yes, as I type this my travel mug of coffee is by me and no, I don't have a water bottle next to it. I should especially since I woke up with a headache today.

Let's look at a list of symptoms together. Do any of the following ring true for you?
  • Dry, sticky mouth
  • Sleepiness
  • Thirst
  • Decreased urine output
  • Dry skin
  • Headache
  • Dizziness, lightheadedness
  • Constipation

A few really stand out to me. That list is a list of symptoms of dehydration. The good news is slight dehyration is easy to treat....start drinking! More severe dehydration will require medical support but I am staying mild today in my conversation.

Over the past year or so I have become more in tune to my need for water as triggered by headaches or afternoon sleepiness. It does make me feel better but the thing is, I still struggle maintaining a good level of hydration throughout the day day-in and day-out. And thirst is a bad guage of your hydration need. Usually by the time I feel thirsty the headache is already in place or building. In other words, I already am beyond the point of need.

If you really want a true representation of your hydration level look at your urine. It should be clear or light-colored NOT dark yellow or amber. If yours is the latter, you need more water but the daily recommendation isn't as easy as 8 cups a day. Sorry, nothing in life is one size fits all.

Hydration needs depend on your health, how active you are, and even where you live! That does make sense that someone baking in the tropics will need more water than someone lounging in the temperate zones, right? Our bodies are 60% water and we want to keep them that way so that our bodies can carry out their functions efficiently. Trust me, you will feel AND look better when properly hydrated. But how much should we drink?

The Mayo Clinic recommends that a healthy male in a temperate climate drink 13 cups or 3 liters a day. For females, the recommendation is 9 cups or 2.2 liters a day. Yep, this is not the cute 8 cups of 8 ounces a day recommendation we hear so often but in all reality, it is easy to remember and gets us close to our target.

Now add in your activity level and adjust for your climate and go from there. Sorry, I have no concrete numbers to give you. Just look at your urine output and how often you go.

And I wouldn't be me if I didn't add one caveat. You CAN drink TOO MUCH WATER! The condition is called hyponatremia and it is rare. Essentially, in this case a person has consumed so much water that their kidneys can't keep up and the sodium in their system becomes diluted. Not a good place to be. But for the vast majority of us, this is of no concern. We are struggling to drink enough water. But for endurance athletes, this is something to think about and it is the reason that when I run long and know I am drinking more I actually switch to a drink with electrolytes. And I do a urine check at the end. I know, gross. But once I get home and go for a potty break I see where I am hydration wise and to be honest, I am often dehyrated not over hydrated. Therefore, I focus my recovery on topping off my water.

Did you know you could win a Hydr-8 water bottle to help keep you hydrated AND support a fundraising to Move Mountains: Bring Boaz Home? Learn more HERE. -- This fundraising opportunity has ended. Boaz is home!!!!

Daily Gratitude: I am thankful for the clearing skies. 
Daily Bible Verse: But whoever drinks of the water that I will give him will never be thirsty again. The water that I will give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life. ~ John 4:14


Move Mountains: Bring Boaz Home

Do me a favor. Grab a coffee, sit down, and relax with me while I tell you a story and yes, I will be asking you to act upon it at the end. But don't fret. I will give you three ways to help me out. You have the choice on what you are willing and able to do.

If you are new to my blog, I am Erica G and I am pleased to meet you! You can also call me Life as a Running Mom, Running Mom, RM.... The list can go on but for now, I want to thank you for taking time out of your busy day to sit with me and to hear/read what I have to say.

I am on a mission. A good mission and I love that it falls in the time of Lent as embarking on this mission took some faith on my part. Do you want to know a secret? I am fearful of hosting fundraisers. Oh the irony since it is my full-time job I work in....fundraising! All that means is that I know what it entails and that some campaigns can flop. But I find strength in God and this verse: "So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand." Isaiah 41:10.

I am sharing that verse because I feel I was called to host this fundraiser to raise funds for Boaz's adoption. You can hear me tell the story below....

So in a nutshell, I run for Toby. He has Down syndrome and was adopted just before turning 4. He is from the Ukraine and there kids with Down syndrome are shunned...to say the least. He has been growing and prospering beautifully in his forever family. And his parents are waiting to finalize the adoption of another precious gem - Boaz, who is in Bulgaria right now. Boaz has Down syndrome and I know he will grow and prosper in his forever family. We just need to get him there!

This is where you come in. You can help in one of three ways!

Way 1: Buy a Hydr-8 water bottle anytime between now and March 20th. Once 10 bottles are sold, I will start receiving commissions, which will be donated 100% to Boaz's adoption fund. But it gets better! Enter the coupon code BOAZ to receive 10% off of your order. You must use this code not only to get your discount but to also mark the order as one to raise funds to Bring Boaz Home. I will also be hosting an online party on March 15th at 12:00 pm (Hawaii time)...please stop over and say you can join us so you will receive updates. On March 15th you can come hang out with us and talk about Down syndrome, adoption, hydration, whatever! You can go online and buy your water bottle at this time too if you want. Just remember the coupon code....BOAZ! Note: once you add a water bottle or more to your cart, scroll to the bottom of the page to checkout.

Way 2: If you want to donate to the cause but don't need or want a hydration bottle, feel free to pop on over to the family's Go Fund Me page and make a donation today. Any gift is appreciated; however, I would enourage you to get a water bottle as it could serve as a reminder to you every time you drink out of it how you helped to change a little boy's life. 

Way 3: You love the cause but are not in a position to give right now. Don't worry. We have all been in that boat but you can give without giving! Yes, you heard that right. You can help make a difference even if you can't donate a cent by sharing this post and giving others the chance to buy a water bottle or donate. 

Since I am all for showing gratitude, I personally purchased one water bottle (and yes, I used the coupon code BOAZ) to give away to one of you to say thank you for listening and choosing to make a difference. Enter the giveway below. I will select the winner by random and notify him/her by March 23rd. 

a Rafflecopter giveaway
Won't you help make a difference today? 


Daily Gratitude: I am thankful for you.
Daily Bible Verse: So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand. ~ Isaiah 41:10